June 11, 2010

yU+co Makes Splash with Hot Tub Time Machine

HOLLYWOOD, CA -- One of this year’s most successful comedies is Hot Tub Time Machine -- the story of four friends, all of them bored with their adult lives, who travel back to their heydays in the 80’s thanks to a time-bending hot tub. Digital content creation/production studio yU+co. added to the humor of the film with an opening title sequence that sets the perfect tone featuring a fast-paced photo collage of the history of hot tubs. yU+co. also created a closing title sequence that offers a pitch perfect parody of the classic Motley Crue music video ''Home Sweet Home,'' only with cast member Rob Corddy playing the part of lead singer Vince Neil.

The History of Hot Tubs in Pictures

According to yU+co. Art Director Synderela Peng, the concept for the opening titles centers on a photo collage that hilariously depicts the history of hot tubs, especially people partying in hot tubs. Set to the 80’s pop metal classic ''Turn Up the Radio'' by Autograph, the collage begins with rudimentary drawings of prehistoric man in hot tubs, then quickly swish pans to an array of photos through hot tub history -- from the Renaissance to the turn of the 20th century and up to modern day. Among the stand out photos are shots of a baby in an old wooden tub and a trio of senior women soaking in a tub littered with empty beer bottles.

''We wanted the open to complement the tone of the film and set the mood,'' Peng says. ''The concept simply was to show the history of people and hot tubs -- from cavemen to modern day -- obviously with a lot of funny pictures along the way.''

Although some of the photos are stock, the bulk of them were actually shot by yU+co designers at what may be the company’s first (and only) work-related hot tub party. All of the photos were tweaked digitally to adjust their color so they resembled old, faded photos with smudges and watermarks. They were then composited with objects, backgrounds and people that were either added in or taken out to spike the comedy. ''For example, we added beer bottles and drug paraphernalia to some of the stock images,'' says Peng. ''We also stayed true to the esthetic of the time with a color palette and a logo that has a decidedly 80’s feel to it.''

End Titles: Motley Crue Redux

The ending title sequences begins with the start of the classic Motley Crue music video ''Home Sweet Home,'' their paean to the good and bad times of life in a rock band, with one significant difference…actor Rob Corddry who wears a blonde wig and tight spandex, plays the role of lead singer Vince Neil.

Based on a concept from director Steve Pink, the yU+co design team took Pink’s footage of Corddry shot on an empty stage and edited it into the original video, which was up-res’d from a VHS copy to give it an appropriately degraded feel. In addition, yU+co contributed to the concept of freeze-framing on the altered video and adding touches of lightning, smoke, geometric shapes and grids and the occasional snakes, bats and skulls with wings -- all recognizable clich├ęs found in most 80’s hard rock and heavy metal album covers.

''We had so much fun with this, and how could you not?'' adds Peng. ''We did a lot of research on 80’s album covers -- the font choices, color schemes, and so on. The freeze frame technique, which already has an inherent 80’s sensibility, compliments the video perfectly. We saw this as purely a graphic design assignment and it was great fun because we were given the freedom to be creative with typography and backgrounds, rather then trying to create some big visual effect.''

In addition to working on Hot Tub Time Machine, other recent yU+co. projects include the film title design for DreamWorks’ Shrek The Final Chapter 3D and a series of spots for the 2010 Census campaign. For Turkish Telecom, yU+co. also created two one-minute CG animated films introducing Marvel superhero characters to Turkish audiences, as well as a series of Iron Man 2 promos for the new film.

About yU+co: 
Recognized as an industry leader in motion graphics, visual effects and experiential design with offices in Hollywood, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, yU+co. (http://www.yuco.com) specializes in digital content for all media platforms including title design for film and television, visual effects and animation, theatrical logos, game cinematics, commercials and new media. For more information, contact: Dianna Costello for feature film and television projects or Michael Bennett for gaming/game cinematics and commercials at 323-606-5050.

Web Resources:
Click here to watch the Hot Tub Time Machine titles:

Click here for more info about yU+co:

Creative Credits:
Project: Hot Tub Time Machine titles
Client: United Artists/MGM Studios

Design/Animation: yU+Co., Hollywood, CA
Creative Director: Garson Yu
Executive Producer: Carol Wong
Design Team: Synderela Peng, Wayland Vida, Kaya Thomas, John Kim, Gary Garza, Miguel Rodriguez., Osamu Shishime.